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How to become an email copywriter

Read Time 5 mins | Written by: Jess Thistlethwaite

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Today, many marketers struggle to write email copy that gets their emails read and inspires readers to take action. Because of this, businesses are increasingly turning to copywriters for help. However, email copywriting isn’t solely about writing an enticing subject line, compelling copy, or a straightforward call-to-action, it's all of these things and more. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at how to become an email copywriter.

First, what is email copywriting?

How to become an email copywriter - Copify blog 3In theory, email copywriting is no different to any other form of copywriting, but it does require you to be able to express an idea in a convincing way in order for recipients to take the action you desire.

Email copywriting is also short-form (no more than a page) and requires a conversational style. The challenge for all email copywriters, regardless of the recipient, is creating a message which will be opened and read.

Other unique qualities of email copywriting include:

  • Succinctness
  • A high level of persuasion
  • No filler copy or fluff
  • A clear emphasis on the connection between the CTA and the subject line

However, it's also important to bear in mind that email copywriting comes in many different shapes and forms. In general, there are two main types of emails: transactional and engagement. Transactional emails relate directly to making and closing a sale, whereas engagement emails are more about gaining the reader's attention through the use of storytelling. As such, an email copywriter can be asked to write welcome emails, tutorials, newsletters, brand stories, cart abandonment reminders, receipt emails, time-sensitive promotions, and much more.

Now that we understand what email copywriting is, here's everything you need to know about how to become an email copywriter.

How to become an email copywriter

These steps form the foundations to a strong career in email copywriting:

1. Get as much copywriting experience as possible

How to become an email copywriter - Copify blog 1Email copywriting is hard, so diving in headfirst simply isn’t going to work. The art of good writing is one we all learn with time and experience, so make sure you’re writing as much as you can, whether that’s web content, blogs, marketing copy and so on. Agencies such as Copify, as well as job boards are great places to start.

While a degree in English or journalism can help when you're working in the copywriting field, it's not essential. You may find it more beneficial to enrol in an email copywriting course. There are a number of options out there, including Hubspot's 'How to write emails that sell' and IDM's Copywriting for Web and Email.

2. Learn the basics of email marketing

There are so many ways to use email, from building relationships and raising brand awareness to product marketing and lead nurturing. As such, it's important you understand the basics of email marketing in order to craft copy that engages the recipient in the right way. The basics of email marketing include:

Defining your audience: For an email to be effective, it needs to be relevant. This is why when it comes to email copywriting, you need to understand the buyer persona and what they want. Once you know this, you can tailor your writing accordingly.

Understanding your client's goals: The client you're working for should provide you with details regarding the goals of their email campaign, so you'll need to read these carefully to ensure you’re helping your client get better email marketing results - leads, sales, customer loyalty etc.

Giving recipients a clear action to take: People scan emails, so the call-to-action must be easily identifiable, succinct and action-oriented. After all, you want to make it as straightforward as possible for them to buy or get in touch.

3. Understand how to craft an email that works

Writing a great email all comes down to following a few best practices which you'll need to apply to both the subject line and the body of the message.

1. Be personal

If you want your email copywriting to convert, it needs to be personal. A great way to achieve this is to pretend you're writing an email for one person - like a friend, family member or customer. What would you say to them if they were sitting opposite you? Let them know what it is you want to share with them and explain what you want them to do.

2. Be short and concise

As we mentioned above, people only skim emails, so don't waste your time writing several hundred words of copy. Get straight to the point. Don't think you have to write in full sentences and paragraphs either; it's perfectly acceptable to use bullet points, questions and short sentences to get your message across.

3. Include a single call-to-action

How to become an email copywriter - Copify blog 5You might be tempted to place multiples CTAs into an email in the hope that subscribers will click on at least one of them, but this won't work. If you give them too many buttons or links to click on, the chances are they won't click on any.

Make sure your copy is simple and include one clear call-to-action. After all, no one has time to contemplate which action they are going to take if there are too many to choose from.

4. Get the subject line right

Like the headline of an article or blog post, the subject line of your email needs to be interesting and relevant. Research suggests subject lines should be between 41 characters (perfect for portrait view on an iPhone) and 70 characters (suitable for Gmail).

Don't forget to use action words too, as this will help recipients understand what it is you want them to do before they even read the rest of the email. Phrases like 'don't miss out' and 'act now' are great examples and create a sense of urgency.

Gain experience as an email copywriter today

If you're new to the world of email copywriting, be sure to get as much practice as you can before pitching to clients. At Copify, you can gain essential experience writing many different types of content, including emails, blog posts, webpages and articles.


Image Credits

Main image credit: Stephen Phillips -

Internal image credits: Austin Distel, BurstPorapak Apichodilok

Jess Thistlethwaite

Jess is Content Director at Copify. Her main interests include writing, copy editing, and social media marketing. Holding a journalism degree from the University of Chester, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2016. With a passion for both art and music, Jess enjoys playing the clarinet and sketching or painting when she’s away from her desk.